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Free smoke detector installation available in Knox County

Rural Metro Fire spokesperson says many deaths and further fire damage can be avoided with a free smoke detector.
Rural Metro Fire spokesperson says many deaths and further fire damage can be avoided with a free smoke detector.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In East Knox, a man woke up from sleeping to hear his smoke detector going off. Moments later he was able to escape through his window to safety, while his home was damaged.

“He barely escaped with his life,” said one neighbor while encouraging others to get a smoke detector.

Jeff Bagwell with Rural Metro Fire said those stories were great to hear but the sad reality is, they don’t always result in a happy ending. Bagwell recalls times where the lack of a smoke detector even cost someone their life.

“He woke up to the fire the smoke and got disoriented and went to the bathroom and collapsed in the thick smoke and never made it out.” said Bagwell as he recalls an event from last year.

A house fire broke out Monday afternoon in North Knox just feet away from a RMF station, but Bagwell said the fire could have caused less damage because it took a few minutes longer for home owners to realize what was happening since they didn’t have a working smoke detector. He advised that you change the batteries on it twice a year and test it once a month.

If you don’t have a smoke detector, Knoxville’s 3-1-1 line will direct you to an option where someone will come out to your home and install one for free. By calling Knox County Fire Prevention, you can have the same done for you. Although it only takes one phone call, Bagwell said not that many people are taking advantage.

“Especially when they’re free! Free!” said a frustrated Bagwell as he tries to understood why more people don’t have a working smoke detector.

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